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Whitefish Bay community join together to prevent teen suicide

WHITEFISH BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Teen suicides are often quietly grieved and shoved under the rug in most communities -- but not in Milwaukee's North Shore suburbs.  

After three teen suicides last summer, youth minister Margaret Rhody challenged parents to find out why their teens were so overwhelmed -- and to find ways to stop the suicides.

Dozens showed up at Holy Family Church in Whitefish Bay for a night of hope and healing -- including the parents of two suicide victims, 13-year-old Abby Goldberg and 14-year-old Rachael Salmon.  

Their friends' parents also joined in the effort. And they created a group which the Journal Sentinel says could be a model for other communities struggling with teen suicides.

The group brought in an Iowa psychologist to get ideas of how other places have dealt with the problem. They held an "Out of the Darkness Walk" that raised $10,000.  

They've held seminars -- and they got students involved because they knew that kids would only talk to other kids about the topic.

A retreat was held at UW-Milwaukee, where trusted 9th and 10th graders were trained in suicide prevention. The group also reviewed a national study showing that suburban teens have higher anxiety and depression than inner-city youths -- and suburban girls are three times more likely to report significant depression.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)